Feminism is a hot topic nowadays, especially among younger female celebrities who want to spread the message. Between Emma Watson bringing grown men to tears during her impassioned UN speech, Beyonce splashing the word during her concerts and the He for She campaign gaining momentum, it’s everywhere.
That hasn’t stopped some celebs, like Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and Carrie Underwood from denouncing the “f-word,” saying that it gives a negative connotation to women. It’s a view Girls star Lena Dunham doesn’t share, and hopes to change through interviews, her ongoing HBO series and now, a book, Not That Kind of Girl.
Here, we’ve rounded up her defense of the term in 12 easy-to-digest quotes from her chat at JFL42 (that’s Just for Laughs, for those of you who aren’t down with acronyms) in Toronto last fall:
1) “I think women who reject the term don’t know what it means. It’s not a concept you reject. If you’re a feminist, you believe in equal opportunities.”
TRANSLATION: How can you say you disagree with equality?
2) “We spend so much time trying to figure out where we exist in these female archetypes. That Kind Of Girl means to accept that you’re all of those things, and none of those things. It has an elasticity in that it can mean different things at different times.”
TRANSLATION: This morning I’m going to be any damned person I chose to be.
3) “I don’t understand why you want to shame another woman in the public that way. I felt good about (the Vogue shoot), why would (Jezebel) want to be like, ‘Oh no, but that’s not what she really looks like? That was suuuuch bullshit.”
TRANSLATION: This is why filters were created.
4) “When all the nude leaks came out I was like, you can’t look at these guys, that’s letting the terrorists win.”
TRANSLATION: We didn’t see any dude pictures surfacing, either.
5) “I know when I’ve been photoshopped. I’ve complained before. I’m like, that’s not my nose, I have a totally fine nose, why would you do that?”
TRANSLATION: If I can be OK with my body, so can you.
6) “Feminists believe that men and women should have the same opportunities. If you are a feminist you believe in equal rights as a whole. That’s not a concept you can really shoot down.”
TRANSLATION: So why are you?
7) “Feminism doesn’t mean women are going to rise, take over the planet, and like cut off men’s testicles.”
TRANSLATION: We’re not fear-mongers here.
8) “In the past, women did what they needed to do in order to be heard. My mom wasn’t allowed to wear pants to school. So one day she and all of her friends got together made the plan that tomorrow is pants day. The next day my mom went to school and she was the only one who had worn pants because all of the other girls had chickened out. And so she was sent home from school to change out and her parents were enraged, and that was the moment where she was like, no. I’m a girl, I can wear pants, and we’re all going to wear pants together.”
TRANSLATION: I have a freaking cool mom.
9) “We’re going to be compensated fairly for our jobs, we’re going to be given the opportunity to make choices about our bodies and we’re going to be safe.”
TRANSLATION: My body, my choice.
10) “So much of my mission is like, normalizing a real female body and not succumbing to media representation. There was something that felt really hypocritical about (when I dieted and kept a food journal). And then I was like, no maybe I’m that girl because I was counting almonds, and then I realized, that was not the life I wanted to live.”
TRANSLATION: If I want to eat all the cake, I will. And no one should make me feel bad about it.
11) “I feel a little bit lucky because, I’m like a little bit trying to take on the system from the inside.”
TRANSLATION: Even feminists need Trojan Horses sometimes.
12) “I’m obviously thrilled by my opportunities, but I’m not an enthused member of that Hollywood culture. I recognize the problems, but I’m there anyway so it’s OK to navigate it every day.”
TRANSLATION: If you can’t beat ’em, pretend to join ’em. And then beat ’em.